It not only feels good to reduce your negative impact on the planet, but some choices can be easier on your wallet as well. You might think that you need to build a rain-collecting cistern in the backyard or erect a solar farm to become eco-friendly. This would be cool, but it’s not necessary.
There are several simple, cost-effective ways that you can conserve energy that won’t break the bank to implement. The best news is that these are all DIY tips and projects. Here are just ten ways that you can make your home more eco-friendly, help save the Earth, and slim down your monthly energy bill.
1. Check Energy-Draining Appliances
Some of the appliances in your home might be energy hogs. If you have some non-Energy Star appliances, these should go at the top of the list for upgrades when you have the cash. The energy savings will help you cover the costs of these new purchases over time.
2. Change Lightbulbs
A simple DIY project that is also eco-friendly is to change out the lightbulbs in your home. CFL and LED bulbs are more energy-efficient than traditional bulbs and don’t put off as much heat. While more expensive, they will last longer and are better for the environment.
3. Conserve Water
A simple way to conserve water in your home is to simply shut it off. Many of us have a habit of running the water while brushing our teeth, taking prolonged showers, or watering the lawn more than it requires. Turn off the water or start using it sparingly.
Hopefully, you are recycling what you can, but you can do even more by composting food waste. This waste can generate methane, which is a dangerous greenhouse gas. Get a compost bin from a local retailer, and you can immediately stop sending this waste to the landfill.
5. Install a Programmable Thermostat
A simple switch out of your home thermostat can help you better control the temperature in your home while saving money at the same time. Programmable thermostats allow you to lower temps or turn off the thermostat when you’re not home, all from your smartphone.
6. Plug Air Leaks
You could be paying extra to heat or cool your home’s attic each month or, worse, the neighborhood due to air leaks. Check for leaks around windows and plug them with caulk. Check your ductwork for leaks, which you can seal with a roll of duct tape.
7. Use No or Low-VOC Products
Not only are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) bad for the environment, but they can also be health hazards. VOCs can lead to nausea, headaches, and breathing problems. Look through your home’s cleaning products and discard the dangerous ones in favor of more eco-friendly alternatives.
8. Install Low-Flow Plumbing
Save water in your home by installing a low-flow showerhead, low-flow toilet, or both. Yes, this is plumbing, but most people can figure out these installations by watching a few online videos.
9. Wrap Your Hot Water Heater
By just insulating your home’s hot water heater, you could save 7-16% each year on the cost of heating water for your house. This is a simple DIY project that you can complete at a low cost and in less than an hour.
10. Recycle Furniture
We all like to have nice furnishings in our homes, but throwing away old furniture creates a strain on landfills. Instead, either find a way to donate furniture to someone who can use it or see if you can rehab it to give it a fresh look.
Going green might seem overwhelming at first glance, but breaking things down into simple projects helps put things into perspective. Using these DIY techniques can help your home become eco-friendlier, which is good news for your energy bills, the planet, and future generations.